Welcome to Honduras!
We are proud of our heritage. In preparation for your trip or to just learn a little more about the country we’ve fallen in love with, enjoy this collection of information about our culture.
Location: Central America,
Total Area: 112,090 sq Km (slightly larger than Tennessee)
Climate: subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains
Government type: democratic constitutional republic
Population below poverty line: 71%
Industries: sugar,coffee,textiles,clothing,wood products
Agricultural products: Bananas,coffee,citrus,beef,timber,shrimp,corn
Currancy: Lempira (HNL)
Exchange rate: Lempiras per US dollar- 19.70 (October 2012)
Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras and your Mision Caribe destination, got its tongue twisting name from the ancient Nahuatl language, and translated means “silver mountain” In effect, Tegucigalpa came to being during colonial times as a mining center.
THE HONDURAN PEOPLE
Over two thousand years of history are richly displayed in Honduras’ numerous Mayan archaeological sites and vestiges of early Spanish colonialism. As a result of this diverse history, the Honduran people are an ethnic mix of native Indian, Spanish and other nationalities.
Honduras has a population of over eight million. It is growing at an average annual rate of 3%. The urban population is increasing at a much higher rate. Over 2.4 million people live in the capital city of Tegucigalpa and it’s growing daily.
Honduras is a lower middle-income country, located in Central America. The country has a diversified economy, based on international trading of agricultural commodities and manufactures. Honduras has one of the highest incidences of poverty and inequality in the western hemisphere. The situation of the poor, who usually live off small-scale agriculture in rural areas, was aggravated by the disaster caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. After this massive loss of life and assets, Honduras embarked on a very ambitious Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) in consultation with civil society and donors, agreeing to a set of actions aimed at reducing the incidence of extreme poverty by half by 2015.
Honduras lies at what was the southern tip of the Mayan civilization. The Mayan civilization collapsed long before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, who visited Trujillo in north-east Honduras in 1502 on his third voyage to the new world.
The country was colonized by Spain after some resistance by the Lenca peoples of the central highlands. Their chief, Lempira, who was murdered by the Spaniards, became a national symbol after independence.
In 1899 the first banana concession was granted to the Vacarro brothers; their company would later become Standard Fruit. In 1907 Sam Zemurray set up the Cuyamel Fruit Company; later bought by United Fruit. The unequal relationship that would exist between the companies and the Honduran state for the first half of the 20th century gave rise to the description “banana republic.”
President Villeda was ousted from power by a military coup in 1963 and General Oswaldo Lopez Arellano became president. General Lopez Arellano tried to resolve growing land conflicts in the West at the cost of Salvadorian immigrants, and as a result, Honduras fought a brief war with El Salvador in 1967 that went into the history books as the “soccer war” since it was triggered by abusive treatment of the Honduran team during a World Cup qualifying game in San Salvador.
The first half of the 1980s were dominated by the Contra war in Nicaragua. The Honduran army turned a blind eye to the Contras’ presence in southern Honduras, and in return the liberal government of Roberto Suazo Cordova (1982-1986) received economic and military aid from the USA. This was a period of internal repression by the armed forces under the command of General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, during which approximately 170 left-wing activists “disappeared.”